For the first time since the 2022 season concluded, Bill Belichick met with the media on Monday at the annual NFL owners meeting. When asked to deliver a message to Patriots fans, he preached patience.
“Long way to go,” Belichick said. “It’s March. We play in September. Got a long way to go, lot of work to do.”
Belichick was then asked why should the fans remain optimistic?
“The last 25 years,” he replied.
While New England has had an unprecedented stretch over the last two-plus decades under Belichick, it has not gone as smoothly the past several seasons. Since Tom Brady’s departure prior to the 2020 season, New England has gone just 25-25 with one playoff appearance.
Coming off a disappointing 8-9 season, Belichick noted he believes they have “taken steps to improve the team” throughout the offseason.
Perhaps the most notable improvement they’ve taken has come on the coaching staff. New England hired a handful of experienced offensive assistants, highlighted by naming Bill O’Brien as the official offensive coordinator. O’Brien will replace last year’s de-facto play caller Matt Patricia — who Belichick said was “not sure” if he will be with the team this season - and QB coach Joe Judge — who will remain with the team in a new role.
On the field, New England has added several new faces to the offensive side of the ball. That includes weapons such as JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki, as well as offensive tackles Calvin Anderson and Riley Reiff.
While they have taken steps to improve their team, New England’s roster is certainly not finished. The Patriots will have plenty of chances to add to their roster in the NFL Draft in late April, but Belichick noted they would not be shy of acquiring talent outside of the draft if the opportunity presented itself.
“There’s a lot of ways you can acquire players, I wouldn’t rule out any of them,” he said. “We do something that we think will help the team then we’ll do it — given the context of whatever it is. We’re not afraid to do whatever we need to do to help the team, whatever that is.”
For now, Belichick and his staff will continue to work to put the Patriots in the best spot they can be come Week 1.
“We haven’t snapped the ball. It’s March,” Belichick said. “Working on April for now, one month at a time.”